Israeli students develop treatment for resistant bacteria, based on engineered proteins

Israeli students have developed alternative antibiotics, based on engineered proteins, to overcome resistant bacteria, Tel Aviv University in central Israel reported on Sunday.

According to the World Health Organization, at least 700,000 people die each year due to drug-resistant diseases, and the number could jump to 10 million each year by 2050.

To overcome resistant bacteria, the students developed an alternative system based on pyocins — protein complexes naturally produced by bacteria to attack other threatening bacteria.

When released, each pyocin can bind to an enemy bacteria cell, puncture its membrane and destroy the bacteria single-handedly.

This solution also includes novel algorithm-based software for both designing the relevant tail fibers to target specific bacteria, and for optimizing the distribution of the pyocins in a specific medium for cost-effective use.